How to Write a Comparative Essay

Writing a comparative essay is common enough at university among the students who are studying at Humanities, Art, Theology and Law. These students have had many opportunities to hone their essay writing skills, whether for assignments, tests, research or exams. However, essay writing is not every student’s forte and many students use essay services these days because of this. If you are preparing for exams or you simply wish to learn writing an essay on your own, specifically a comparative essay, here are some guidelines on how to write an essay.

Much like the methodology of an argumentative essay, which uses a listing of both pro’s and con’s on the subject, a comparative essay uses a similar method of its own. By selecting a topic that is similar in certain respects with another, and weighing each against the other, you are in fact already halfway there. However, the basis of comparison should not be the only analysis in your essay; you should also factor in dissimilar parts or elements, to distinguish between two or more subjects, artwork or theses.

It is essential that you fully understand both side’s underlying tones and associated themes, and comprehend the intricacies concerned with their similarities and dissimilarities. This will help in the layout and structuring of your essay that will also help you keep track of all your facts, by placing them in chronological order, allowing the reader to follow your train of reasoning and explanation. This will also help you distinguish your ‘frame of reference’ through which the subject that unifies these two topics or pieces, will become more and more apparent.

Start by writing your introduction that should contain your thesis statement as well as the reason you chose these two subjects to form the basis for your comparative essay, by illustrating in brief, their affiliation. You can then choose between one of two methods in writing down the body of your essay, the first is by first writing the similarities between these subjects.

Write each similarity in a paragraph followed by an explanation for each or by just providing more detail on the web of connection between them. You can structure these paragraphs on various elements such as technical fundamentals, on the history of each subject, intent or theme etc. You can then move on in stating the dissimilarities or differences in these topics in the paragraphs to follow. Remember to also mention why they might be so diverse and how and why they affect their particular subject thus.

The second method that you can use, after you have completed your introduction, is by writing a similarity and dissimilarity of both the works in paragraph format. This means that you write ‘like’ and ‘unlike’ together making it obvious to the reader your reasons for choosing these two or more topics. As with the first method, you can structure these paragraphs according to certain ideas or motifs in your essay such as, history, genre or symbolism etc.